Are employee engagement levels really falling? The CIPD Employee Outlook: Summer 2012 suggests this is the case. It finds that 58% of employees have "neutral engagement". The CIPD's new chief executive Peter Cheese the CIPD's puts this down to"unethical behaviours and corrosive cultures overseen by senior [business] leaders" in recent months which are "damaging employee engagement", Personnel Today reports.
But leading UK business blog Flip Chart Fairy Tales doubts both the veracity of these findings and the premise that it is reasonable for employers to expect their employees to be engaged at all. Blogger "Rick" analyses the statistics and finds employee engagement and trust scores in the CIPD's report haven't changed much in recent months and were about the same in 2006, before the banking crisis, the News International scandal and Libor fixing.
And other evidence suggests that employees are in fact much more willing to work
"If managers started with the expectation that people would be disengaged unless they did something to engage them, it might make them better managers... Is it really surprising that those with little stake or control in the organisation don't identify much with it or feel inclined to "go the extra mile"? The way most companies are organised and the unequal distribution of rewards ensure that the prevailing wind blows in the direction of disengagement. Left to their own devices, people will drift along with it. It takes a particularly skilled and enlightened manager to steer them in the opposite direction."
together with managers during the economic recession. The CBI/Harvey Nash Employment Trends Survey 2012 finds: "Contrary to the rhetoric from some unions, companies are working together with their staff to overcome challenging economic conditions."
These different perspectives suggest assumptions about engagement levels are open to challenge and that organisations should look more closely at whether management behaviour is more likely to engage employees or disengage them.
Read on for lots of links to recent articles on employee engagement and other HR strategy themes, including leadership, strategic workforce planning, HCM and HR metrics, performance management and global HR.
General HR strategy
HR excluded from HR strategy planning in one-third of organisations, says Personnel Today. According to the XpertHR report "How employers align HR with the business" (subscribers only), senior managers from outside the HR function participate in HR planning at exactly three-quarters of employers, while senior HR managers are involved at two-thirds (66%) of organisations.
Dave Ulrich on the Future of Human Resources. A mini interview with the most influential thinker in HR today, by Dan Schawbel on Forbes.
Who are the Most Influential HR directors and academics in 2012? By Siân Harrington, in HR magazine.
How strategists lead, by Harvard Business School professor Cynthia A. Montgomery, who reflects on what she has learned from senior executives about the unique value that strategic leaders can bring to their companies.
4 Reasons HR Needs a Collaboration Strategy. By Jason Averbook on Knowledge Infuser
Becoming more strategic: Three tips for any executive, from Michael Birshan and Jayanti Kar on McKinsey Quarterly.
Strategy matters more than ever, argues Seth Godin, and organisations must focus on the reality that "the revolution of the web means that the way you go to market, the structure of your offering, the model of your business - these are sufficient to cause you to lose, regardless of how you play the game."
Strategic, Strategic, Stra... Who Cares? By Kathy Rapp on Fistful of Talent